The Snowdon Horseshoe

The Snowdon Horseshoe is one of Britain’s classic mountain walks. Rugged peaks, beautiful lakes, and cheek-clenching ridges are all negotiated on this short, but spectacular scramble to the rooftop of Wales. I hiked the Snowdon Horseshoe in 2005; all planning information has been updated as of March 2020.

Distance:  12 km (7.5 mi)

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Avg.Time:  5 hours

Start / Finish:

  • Pen-y-Pass

Season:  March to October

Maps / Info:

  • See Walking in Snowdonia for GPX files and trekking notes for the Horseshoe. See also GPS-Routes.co.uk for GPX files, trekking notes, a free printable topo map, and an elevation profile of the route.
  • Summitpost.org provides a comprehensive overview of the Snowdonia region.

Route / Conditions:

  • Well marked trail, which in fine weather is not difficult to follow. That said, caution needs to be exercised on the exposed section between Crib Goch and Crib y Ddysgl. Very narrow at times, the knife-edge ridge is not for vertigo sufferers and shouldn’t be attempted during periods of inclement weather. Be sure to check the forecast before setting out.

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  • After negotiating the Crib Goch, it is difficult not to have an ironic chuckle upon reaching the summit of Mt. Snowdon. If the weather is fine, you can be guaranteed it will be chockablock with day-trippers who have made the extremely arduous journey up to the summit via steam train.

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Overview:

  • Both challenging and spectacular, personally speaking, the one negative associated with this hike is the Mount Snowdon Summit complex. The large concrete edifices seem incongruous with the beautiful natural surrounds. That being said, if the weather happens to take an unexpected turn for the worse, I imagine a steaming cup of hot chocolate or a pint or two at the Summit Cafe would go down a treat.  😉

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